After more than a month of speculation, with non-stop rumors flying back and forth, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan is reporting that the Texas Rangers have won the bidding for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. From Passan:
The Texas Rangers won the rights to negotiate with star Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish by placing a record $51.7 million bid in a posting auction, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Rangers have exclusive negotiating rights with Darvish for 30 days, and will pay the Nippon Ham Fighters that $51.7 million if a contractual agreement is reached.
The amount bid by the Rangers breaks the previous posting-fee record, set by the Boston Red Sox when they bid $51.1 million for the rights to Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2006. After paying that posting fee, the Red Sox signed Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52 million contract.
Darvish has long been the top Japanese prospect, as he hasn't had an ERA over 2.00 in the NPB since 2006, when he was 19. His stats, via his Wikipedia page:
|Nippon Professional Baseball|
Darvish will present some interesting options for the Rangers, who already had five starters penciled into their rotation, even after the departure of C.J. Wilson. Alexi Ogando, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, and Neftali Feliz were scheduled to start, though it seems likely that Feliz will return to the bullpen if the Rangers don't make a trade.